Wordathon: Merging Games and Language Development

Author: Sharanya

  • Venue – Check
  • Certificates – Check
  • Banner – Check
  • Cookies – Check! 🙂
  • Games – Double-check!

You guessed it right! Report Bee had yet another event.

Wordathon – Launched by Report Bee and Bambaram, is an annual inter-school competition for students to test their verbal intelligence through a series of interesting and innovative games. The event consists of word based games such as Scrabble, Pictionary, Taboo among many others that would help children to learn more about words. As this was our first year, we decided to see the response from schools in Chennai and only students from classes 3rd, 4th and 5th were allowed to participate this time.

The Prelims

For the prelims, we visited each school to conduct the games. In each school, there were 10 teams with three children each to compete in three rounds of games. The aim was to select two teams per school to compete in the finals.

 

Santosh (Bambaram) conducting a game during prelims in one of the schools
Santosh (Bambaram) conducting a game during prelims in one of the schools

 

Children in teams trying to guess the right word
Children in teams trying to guess the right word

 

The Finals

The Final event was altogether a different experience. Right from fixing the venue to getting a banner ready, we had great fun organizing the event! The Final event was conducted at Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, Kilpauk Chennai under the able guidance of Ms Jayashree Ravi who really helped us to organize the event smoothly. Thank you, Ma’am! 🙂

The seven schools competing for the Finals were:

  • AMM Matriculation Higher Secondary School
  • Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram
  • Chinmaya Vidyalaya Virugambakkam
  • Ramana Vidyalaya
  • Sri J T Surana Jain Vidyalaya
  • SIR M.VENKATASUBBA RAO MHSS T.NAGAR
  • Vana Vani Matriculation Higher Secondary School

We had 2 teams from each school and one teacher accompanying the children (just to ensure they were fine!) The event started at 10 AM sharp,with all the students fresh and eager to compete. The Final even had two rounds of games. The first round was Scattergories, a game similar to Name Place Animal Things. (If you do not know that game, you have indeed missed a great game during your childhood! 🙂 ).

How was Scattergories played: Initially, an alphabet is given to the children. They are then asked to list down one word starting with the alphabet given to them in the categories mentioned. So just for fun, let us have an example:

You have been given the letter “S”. Find below the list of categories that you need to form words starting with the letter “S”. Please mention your answers in the comments section.

The trick in the game is to try and not mention the words that are commonly found. For example, if we have to form a word for “things found in the classroom”, we should skip mentioning the word scale because that is the most commonly thought answer by all under the letter “S”. The answers have to be unique to win in each category! 🙂

Scattergories
Scattergories

If you have tried the game, you might know how difficult it is to guess a unique word that we are sure the opponent will not guess in each category. Imagine 14 teams competing in the finals! But Boy! These children were amazing! We got unique answers for most of the categories from them. They were awesome! 🙂

Children playing Scattergories
Children playing Scattergories

The Much Needed Cookie Break: The finals went on from 10 AM – 1 PM. The children were famished. But thankfully we had a guardian to take care of their hunger. So, right after the first round, we took a break for ten minutes and cookies were distributed to all the children. These were not just plain cookies but cookies from Cookieman, fully sponsored by them!  The cookies certainly helped the children to get energized and be ready for the next round! Thank you so much Cookieman, for feeding everybody that day.  You guys are amazing! 🙂

Children enjoying their chocolate chip cookies from Cookie-man
Children enjoying their chocolate chip cookies from Cookie-man 🙂

 

The second round was Blindfolded Pictionary. Pictionary by itself is tough. It is a game where one team member must be able to draw out the word picked by him/her on a board in a way that his/her team can guess the word before time runs out. Obviously, the game is easy when you are good at drawing! No points for guessing that in Blindfolded Pictionary, children had to draw with their eyes blindfolded. In each team, one participant had to draw out five words blindfolded while the other two had to make the guesses.  This round was good fun but it also drained out the children after all that thinking! 🙂

Children playing round 2 : Blindfolded Pictionary
Children playing round 2 : Blindfolded Pictionary

Another Break to Pumping More Sweetness: Second round of cookies were given to get them energized again before the results were announced. 🙂

The Winners of Wordathon 2015 Event

Mr Ajeeth Prasath Jain, Senior Principal of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, an extremely humble person (given his stature) readily agreed to give away the prizes when we approached him. Today, he is one of the most inspiring Principals who other schools look upto. We were truly lucky to have him among us to give away the prizes on that day. Thank you so much, Ajeeth Sir! Report Bee loves you!

Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram’s children were too good! Having guessed all the 5 words during the Blindfolded Pictionary round well within the stipulated time, they had to win! They got winner certificates along with the prize.

Winners of the wordathon 2015: Bhavan's Rajaji Vidyashram posing with Ajeeth Sir and Jayshree Ma'am
Winners of the wordathon 2015: Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram posing with Ajeeth Sir and Jayshree Ma’am

 

The Second and the Third prize went to the two teams of Vana Vani Matriculation Higher Secondary School. Those children had amazing coordination to guess while drawing. Truly well played!

Children from Vana Vani Matriculation School with the Wordathon team
Children from Vana Vani Matriculation School with the Wordathon team

The Winners

All the children present at the venue competing at the finals got participation certificates along with the unlimited cookies from our favourite Cookieman!:)

Conducting an event like Wordathon with children made the organizing team learn how much word play is important for children. Besides being fun to play, there is a lot of learning for a child through such games. This is the sphere where games and learning converge on language development. Such events can be recorded as data points for the children on Report Bee.  These will, in-turn, help the parents, students and teachers understand their children’s innate abilities and potential. Wordathon helps Report Bee get closer to its core vision in a big way.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Wordathon: Merging Games and Language Development”

  1. Great recap of the event. It was really amazing to see the kids interest in the event.
    The vocabulary level of the kids and their ability to take instantaneous decision at such early age is awesome.
    Great job guys in conducting such a wonderful event

  2. It is very nice to see just a thought shape to an event at is loved by the participants. I’m sure next year the event will be scale greater heights.

  3. A fun event captured in a fun write up left me wanting to play those word games. Those who missed the event are sure to got the feel of the event, to an extent.

  4. The event is one of its kind. It’s only through such events that you get to trully realize how smart today’s young students are. Bravo to the entire team resposible for conucting the event. Some of the students participating in the event said – Yeh dil mange more !!!
    Regards,
    Nikhil

  5. That was an interesting event, where we witnessed the energy levels, smartness, co-ordination, vocabulary levels of this generation kids. Man, they are really smart!!

    Selecting the winners was way too tough, it was a neck to neck competition. And, all the kids absolutely enjoyed it. Remembering Oliver Twist’s – I want some more!! Yup, these kids need more intellectual quiz for the talents and potential they possess, apart from the regular school activities for sure.

    Reading scattergories answers was fun by itself. Many many new unique words!!
    Wonderful job, Wordathon team!

  6. Nicely written – gives a vivid picture of how exactly everything unfolded on the day of the event. Both games are interesting – especially loved the blindfolded pictionary game, as it gives a more sensorial ‘touch’ to the students playing it!

  7. Being an ex-teacher at Bhavan’s Chennai, it was nostalgic reading yr blog!!! Got introduced to yr site only now. Will surely follow you closely.

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